Wednesday of the 1st Week of Advent
That day, it will be said: See, this is our God in whom we hoped for salvation; the Lord is the one in whom we hoped. We exult and we rejoice that He has saved us…
When in pains and waiting for survival, safety seems to exist in a deep well of immeasurable account and what is left is feeling engrossed in sorrow, such that every thought is glued to hope considered not certain. In this situation, hope relates to impossibility and the measure of existence amounts to desperation and abandonment.
Sometimes, when people are confronted with extreme uncertainties that are daunted with desperation and thorns of danger, the revealing perplexity revolves around the horn of surrender that can only repose in God. The only cast left is a thrust into God’s defense. And God works in a way stranger than expectation.
In August this year, 2021, in a state in Northwest of Nigeria, a vehicle taking ten passengers to a ceremony was waylaid and the passengers were kidnapped by some persons referred to as bandits; the frequency of this situation is now a probing concern. After one week, the kidnappers placed a ransom tag of 20 million naira for the release of the victims and did not allow an option of negotiation. Relations of the victims made frantic efforts to see to their release to no avail.
After three weeks without any sign of payment of the ransom, the kidnappers informed the victims of the decision to kill them if the ransom was not paid, the victims were allowed to call their relations for the last time. Two hours later, the unexpected happened. The commander of the bandits, called Morroco, entered and demanded to know who was Mr. Lazarus Emakwo among the people kidnapped. At first, Lazarus was hesitant to own his name; he was afraid but at last, he summed up courage to be recognised. Morroco led him out for questioning, which led to divine intervention. After a while, Morroco rejoined his group, and after a brief meeting, agreed to set all the captives free. This was shocking and unbelievable. It turned out that the leader of the bandits, Morocco, and Lazarus was born by the same mother. Morocco was born to a Muslim man from central Nigeria outside wedlock, some 35 years ago. His mother left him in the care of his father and married Lazarus’ father, a Christian; and the two, Morroco and Lazurus, had never met until this day. The meeting and the circumstance surprised both, and yet it translates into: “…they shall say in that day: Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and will save us; this is the Lord, we have patiently waited for him.” Morroco and Lazarus have since met with their mother, and it is like watching tragedy convert into unity. Today, Morroco is a repented bandit and has embraced God and the Christian faith.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Julius Otusorochukwu Dike, KSJI, JP)
Prayer: Lord, we rely on you as our protector; please help us to continue to walk on the track of your guidance in faith and hope. We pray that you grant us this desire. Amen.
Thanksgiving: Dear Lord, and Almighty Father in Heaven, we thank you for protecting us and leading us through the path of survival. Thank you, Lord, Amen.